Mirador de Gebas.
The Mirador de Gebas in Alhama de Murcia.
A good view after a good lunch, or a 4km walk for those with good levels of fitness.
The lunar landscape in Gebas is unique within the Region of Murcia, undulating areas of cultivation and plunging chasms of light chalk , creating a stark contrast of light and day in the bright sunshine.
It´s an exciting phenomena to explore, but for those who prefer to view in comfort, there is a viewing point, close to the little church, which offers an unrivalled view of the "badlands" or lunar landscape which characterises the Barrancos de Gebas.
The village of Gebas is in the north of the municipality of Alhama de Murcia, 10 km from the town itself, and is right on the edge of one of the most spectacular areas of the Region of Murcia, the Sierra Espuña.
To access the Mirador, coming from Alhama, drive past the few houses which constitute the village , and at the far end of the village is a right hand turn on a bend, down the side of the Restaurant Mirador de Gebas.
After a short distance, there is a lefthand fork which leads down towards the cemetery. There is a signpost from the road, but then the road forks and there are no signposts. The right hand fork leads to the cemetery, which also has good views, but the left hand fork heads to the viewing point, which is a good kilometre further along the road.
There is plenty of parking, and a steepish little path down to the Mirador, so wear flat shoes if you´re intending to visit. It´s really not the best place to take those with limited mobility, although the views from the carpark aren´t bad.
It´s an astonishing view: the sandy grey ravines of the barrancos stretching out towards the reservoir and the startling jade waters of the Embalse de Algeciras in the distance.
For those who enjoy walking and are quite fit, there is a 4km round walk down from the viewing point to the embalse, but be warned, this is a steep route and although is described as being of medium difficulty is really only for those who don´t mind a lot of ups and downs, certainly not for the fainthearted.
It is possible to drive down into the badlands by simply turning off the road leading to the viewing point, but be warned, this is real off-road driving and the road is washed away by heavy rains and can be very un-nerving. It should certainly not be attempted by any car without four wheel drive and drivers with strong nerves.
It´s also easy to get lost.
By far the most sensible option if you really want to explore this area is to speak to the family running the Mariposa Hotel. They run inexpensively priced quad tours down into the Barrancos, and to the embalse, and are also able to arrange an english speaking guide who would be happy to take groups or family groups on foot down into the badlands.
Gebas is ideally placed for those wishing to see and enjoy two of the protected areas of the Region of Murcia, the Sierra Espuña and the karst landscape of the Gebas ravine.
To the west is the Parque Natural de Sierra Espuña, to the south is the Sierra de la Muela, and to the east is the Sierra del Cura. In the area between Gebas and Fuente Librilla is flatter land, where cereal crops are grown, and to the south-east are the “badlands” of the ravine.
The ravine, the “Barranco de Gebas”, was declared a protected natural landscape in 1995. It consists of clay and marl which have been eroded by the action of water over millions of years. There are also halomorphic soils which are the result of the salination of the bottom of the water channels.
The relief of this zone is characterized by gullies, ravines and canyons, which create what is popularly known as a moonscape. Vegetation is limited to grasses and populations of gypsum vegetation, and every year clumps of thero brachypodietea appear. The fauna consists only of a few rodents and other small mammals.
Apart from its unusual geo-morphology, the area also includes the Algecirasreservoir, the embalse de Algeciras, which now supplies the water of Gebas and various other local populations.
It´s a unique and exciting landscape, providing a total contrast to the green of the Sierra Espuña above it, and is well worth visiting.
Useful numbers in Gebas.
Hotel and Restaurant La Mariposa 968 631 008, Click Hotel Mariposa
Restaurant El Mirador de Gebas Tel 968 633 644
Rural lodgings Las Golondrinas, three independent rural houses for rent, Tel 968 636 205
Rural lodgings Casa de las Palmeras Tel 968 639 330
Rural lodgings El lebrillo y La Tinaja Tel 968 631 293.
Where is the Mirador of Gebas?
Click for map, Mirador de Gebas, Alhama de Murcia
|Alhama de Murcia||Sierra Espuña|